The Best Modern Hawaiian Shirts

The Best Modern Hawaiian Shirts

The Best Modern Hawaiian Shirts

Hawaiian shirts are no longer reserved for embarrassing dads on vacation. In 2020, Hawaiian shirts were one of the most popular men’s summer style trends, part of the larger dad core fashion movement. And while they might not be quite as popular in 2021, we still expect to see the best Hawaiian shirts for men in heavy rotation this spring and summer.

Stylish dudes no longer need to metaphorically (or literally) raid their old man’s wardrobe, stealing these summer shirts for themselves. If you’re looking to upgrade your warm-weather look with a great Hawaiian shirt, we’ve got you covered. In this article we’ll cover the following:

  • What are Hawaiian shirts?
  • How to wear a Hawaiian shirt
  • The best Hawaiian shirts to buy right now

What Are Hawaiian Shirts?

The Best Modern Hawaiian Shirts

The loose definition of a Hawaiian shirt (sometimes called vacation shirt, aloha shirt or resort shirt) is a short-sleeve button-up with a colorful print and a camp collar (meaning the collar folds down to lay flat on the chest). Obviously, this criterion is interpreted quite loosely by fashion labels, especially when it comes to the print.

Traditionally, a Hawaiian shirt has some type of floral or marine theme. The particular motifs and colors may change over time, but the core idea of Hawaiian shirts always remains the same: a super comfortable button-up that can be worn while lounging by the pool or drinking at the bar.

Hawaiian shirts, originally called aloha shirts, most likely originated from Honolulu-based dry goods store Musa-Shiya the Shirtmaker in the 1920s. “Aloha shirt” wasn’t coined until 1936 when Hawaiian shirts started to take root.

US troops started wearing the shirts while stationed in Hawaii during WWII and subsequently brought them home, introducing mainlanders to the ultra-comfy button-ups.

The Best Modern Hawaiian Shirts

Although Hawaiian shirts are now back in style, they’ve undergone some changes to fit modern tastes. Hawaiian shirts used to be long and flowy, verging on dress-like cuts. Not any more. Most modern brands that offer Hawaiian shirts have altered the classic in a few ways.

While we still prefer slightly over-sized Hawaiian shirts with a looser fit, brands like J.Crew and Topman are now making more slim-fit Hawaiian shirts, too. We’re also seeing surf and skate brands like Vans sell Hawaiian shirts that abandon the traditional camp collar for a more modern look.

First, the fit of a modern Hawaiian shirt is slimmer and more cropped than its older iterations. Second, brands are now more experimental with prints than they used to be. You’ll find some Hawaiian shirts with minimal black-and-white prints, others with nods to recent pop-culture and some with designs that look more like modern art than a Hawaiian flower print.

How to Wear a Hawaiian Shirt

The Best Modern Hawaiian Shirts

The second best thing about Hawaiian shirts (after comfort, of course) is versatility. You can rock them with everything from swim trunks at the beach to jeans on the weekend to a blazer at a work barbecue. The only loose rule that we follow is pairing Hawaiian shirts with other low-key pieces.

Vacation shirt prints are typically quite loud, so something more minimal will balance the outfit. Think, slim-fit blue jeans and white sneakers, black slacks or chinos. And if you’re itching to wear your Hawaiian shirt when the temperature dips, a white tee under the shirt looks fine, too.

Of course, Hawaiian shirts are supposed to be a little tacky, any laid-back outfit will do. Plus, you can always lean into the dad-on-vacation aesthetic.

Don’t you wish you were having this much fun?

The Best Modern Hawaiian Shirts
The Best Modern Hawaiian Shirts

The best Hawaiian shirts to buy right now

The Best Modern Hawaiian Shirts

1. H&M Patterned Resort Shirt

The Best Modern Hawaiian Shirts

H&M has become one of our go-to stores for wardrobe essentials and the latest trends, as the brand offers a good balance of affordable prices and quality. The new H&M Hawaiian shirt for summer is a muted modern oversized floral print. The boxy fit gives you the option of wearing it open over a tank top or bare chest, or buttoned up and worn loose over shorts. It comes in three different colorways, and for the price, you could buy all three and wear them throughout the spring and summer.

2. Amazon Essentials Short-Sleeve Print Shirt

If you’re on a tight budget this summer, you can still score a great Hawaiian shirt. The Best Modern Hawaiian Shirts. This print shirt comes from Amazon Basics, offering more style than you’d expect from the retail giant’s affordable essentials collection. You get four print options, and at just under $17, we’re tempted to pick up a few

The Best Modern Hawaiian Shirts
The Best Modern Hawaiian Shirts

3. Two Palms Julia Black Rayon Men’s Hawaiian Shirt

Plumeria flowers bloom against the background in this Hawaiian Shirt from Two Palms. The Best Modern Hawaiian Shirts. Made from Rayon (toss in the washer and go), the shirt features coconut buttons and a relaxed fit

4. Cotton On Short Sleeve Resort Shirt

Can a floral print, especially a Hawaiian floral print be a monochromatic one? Cotton On thought so, and the company created an eye-catching and sophisticated floral print shirt in black-and-white. The Best Modern Hawaiian Shirts. Cut on the relaxed side, so you can layer it over a tank or T-shirt, this Hawaiian shirt is cooly sophisticated and fun.

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